BOSTON — The Celtics really like playing at home, and after Friday night, it’s easy to see why.
The C’s capitalized on home-court advantage to earn a rousing 111-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round series.
The victory thrilled an electric TD Garden crowd that included several members of the New England Patriots, including LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis. The running back duo had courtside seats, and they made the most of them when Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas came rolling through their corner after getting a layup and the foul.
Both Blount and Lewis hit Thomas with enthusiastic high fives, which turned out to be well-deserved. The All-Star point guard blew up for a game-high 42 points, including a deep 3-pointer with under two minutes remaining that sealed Boston’s win.
Blount was so impressed by Thomas’ performance — the highest scoring output of a Celtic in a postseason game since Rajon Rondo’s 44 points in the 2012 playoffs — that he waited outside Boston’s locker room after the game to greet the 5-foot-9 guard and congratulate him on the win.
Thomas always has professed to being under-appreciated for his work, but his fellow Boston-area athletes certainly appear to be in his corner.